Unlike most businesses, which value profit over anything else, Endemix Nusantara values its community over making money. This is the coffee story of the face of the coffee business, Rivo Trie Septiadiguna.
Rivo has slowly become a constant name in I’M NOT A BARISTA’s operations. He worked with Tanty to raise $250 to help coffee cherry pickers in Indonesia, a result of the Coffee Wristbands Program that has helped tons of people worldwide. But before embarking on such a huge milestone, who was Rivo?
Rivo has lived in Indonesia since his childhood, and his love for coffee sprouted from instant coffee. He worked tirelessly with a train company in Indonesia and was in a high position when he decided to leave. Although the job made life difficult for him, that was not the reason. Rivo left the job because he was intrigued by the coffee farms at the different train stations. On one of the trips on the train, he visited the coffee farm at the Sumatra train station, and he found out that the farm produced coffee with a taste different from that of other stations. This desire to know more and understand how he could work on it made him quit his job and basically start over.
There was a little fear after his decision, but Rivo believes,
“If you want to succeed, you must leave your comfort zone.”
Leaving his comfort zone was difficult, but looking back, he has no regrets. The challenge of being able to create something new and better based on making slight changes and experimenting always raises his curiosity, which is also what makes him an excellent Q-grader.
Rivo is currently studying Economics and Business, and at other times, he helps the farmers in his community with coffee evaluation, processing, and grading for free. He does this freely because he is more concerned about increasing their coffee quality, which in turn allows them to increase their prices and helps improve their lives and those of their community.
Unlike most Q-graders, who come from the side of the consumer, Rivo works directly with the farmers and makes his suggestions directly to them; therefore, no competition exists between him and Q-graders grading the coffee that gets to the coffee shops. He loves helping them out as it is part of his daily routine after taking his wife to the school she works at, studying, and working on his coffee farm.
At the time of our interview, Rivo was drying a batch of coffee beans to be prepared for a Specialty Coffee Expo in April 2023 in Portland, USA. His drying room was 60 degrees, and the coffee was an order for the popular 5758 Coffee Lab in Indonesia. His coffee beans were one of the selected ones from Indonesia at the World Coffee Championships in Milan in June 2022. Debuting his coffee beans there gave him a lot of exposure, which brought a lot of orders to his doorstep.
The community where Rivo’s coffee farm is is in dire need of help. Most of the families there are farm workers, and after working hard on the farms, most of the profits go to the landowners living in the bigger cities, while the farmers get paid low wages that are incomparable to the work done. Sadly, this is the only job available for most people in the area, as their little to no education allows them to afford no other job and prevents them from moving out.
Rivo believes that to improve the lives of people in the community, the willingness to help has to start with one person and spread until tons of people join hands. We at I’M NOT A BARISTA believe that coffee farmers should be paid fairly and that worldwide support is necessary, not just likes and retweets.
The first step for Rivo is to be on the ground and help the people directly. He was instrumental in helping restore the electricity of a community in Indonesia after it experienced an earthquake. He donates to building health facilities and learning environments for the people.
He currently doesn’t have long-term goals, as he’s taking each challenge one at a time, always trying to help wherever he can, and when he feels it is time for a bigger project, he will make the move. All that matters is that he is proud of his contributions to the community along with his team of six (his wife, two people he met as fishermen, and three of his friends).
The future is definitely bright for Rivo, as he plans to buy more land, hire more farmers on proper salaries, and improve the lives of the farmers and the community around them. We cannot wait to see what he comes up with next.